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Solid Soloway

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ J 4
A K
J 10 8 3
♣ A K 10 6 5
South
♠ A K 5 3
J 7 6 2
A 5
♣ Q J 7


Eddie Kantar, describing the play of the following deal by Paul Soloway, dubbed it a “minus one squeeze.” Today, it might be called a squeeze without the count — meaning declarer has not rectified the count by losing a trick, as is usually the case.

Soloway found himself in 6NT after opening 1NT. The contract can be defeated with an initial spade lead — West can cut the communication necessary for a squeeze by continuing spades when he gets in with a diamond. West led a heart, however, and Soloway took advantage of the break. He had 10 top tricks and not much time to develop more, so at trick two he led the J from dummy. East covered, Soloway won the ace and played another diamond. West did well to duck — if he wins, the count is rectified and East would be subject to a simple major-suit squeeze. Soloway put in dummy’s 8, which held.

Soloway now had 11 tricks. He ran clubs, reaching this position:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ J
A
10 3
♣ 10
West
♠ 8 6
9 5
Q 9
East
♠ Q 10 9 7
Q 10
South
♠ A K 5 3
J 7

When Soloway played the ♣10 from dummy, East was stuck. If he discarded a heart, Soloway could discard a spade from hand, cash the A, felling the queen, and take his 12th trick with the J in his hand. East, therefore, discarded a spade (Soloway pitched his low heart). Soloway then called for dummy’s ♠J, ducking when East covered. A heart was returned to dummy, but Soloway had the last three tricks with the ♠A K 5.

The full deal:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ J 4
A K
J 10 8 3
♣ A K 10 6 5
West
♠ 8 6
9 5 4
Q 9 7 4 2
♣ 9 3 2
East
♠ Q 10 9 7 2
Q 10 8 3
K 6
♣ 8 4
South
♠ A K 5 3
J 7 6 2
A 5
♣ Q J 7